NFL Handicapping: Analyzing NFL Totals for Week 1

Miami Dolphins Football
If handicappers can get just a little bit of offense out of the Bills, Miami looks to get thier fair share of points sending this one over the total
With the start of the NFL season, there is not a lot of data to analyze totals. But there are some factors to consider when NFL handicapping.  Injuries, personnel changes and history between teams are just a few items to consider when looking at totals.  Here is a breakdown on this week’s matchups:

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (48): The total has been bet down from 51 ½ to 48. There is a logical reason for this. The Vikings have looked disjointed in the preseason, and the Vikings have come out and said they will rely on Adrian Petersen. That all points to an under. But there is a case to be made for the over. The Saints’ defense will be without Darren Sharper, and Jonathan Vilma might not play. Those will be big losses and would open the door for the Vikings.

Miami at Buffalo (39): Miami scored more than 30 points in both games against the Bills last season, and it appears the Dolphins have improved their offense this season. With Brandon Marshall, a healthy Ronnie Brown and the maturing of QB Chad Henne, Miami would be expecting a bit more offense this season. The Bills are limited offensively and might not help the total get there.

Detroit at Chicago (43): The trend is for the under in this matchup. Both teams have upgraded their defensive personnel. The Lions should show some improvement, but they were so bad, that still might not be enough.

Indianapolis at Houston (47): The last two times these teams met in Houston, the score went way over the total. The Colts will be playing uptempo and that will help the case for the total. These teams know each other well and usually put up some numbers when they play. That has shown in the total as 11 of their last 16 games have gone over the toal.

Denver at Jacksonville (40): Two of their last three games have done under the total. Neither team gives off a lot of confidence that they can put up a lot of points. The Broncos are hurting at running back as LenDale White is out for the season.

Cincinnati at New England (45): The Patriots’ defense is ravaged with injuries. The only way this game does not go over is if the Patriots try to take the air out of the ball and shorten the game. But if the Bengals can post a couple of first-half scores, that will force Tom Brady and the Patriots to open up the offense and try to keep up.

You can compare the NFL over/under lines on all of the week 1 games and every regular season and post season game all year long on our NFL football betting lines page featuring quality online sportsbooks and their point spreads and totals.

Carolina at New York Giants (41 ½): Styles of offense here dictate the total play. Both teams like to run the ball and that tends to shorten the game. These teams are similar in makeup. Barring any kind of defensive score or special teams hijinks, it would take a lot for the game to go over the total.

Cleveland at Tampa Bay (37): Here are two offensively challenged teams and the low total affirms that notion. Historically, all three meetings between these teams have gone under the total.

Oakland at Tennessee (40 ½): The Raiders suddenly look a bit more respectful with Jason Campbell at quarterback. He suffered a stinger in the last preseason game, but is probable for this team and should play. The Titans’ defensive secondary was a concern last season, but should be improved. Look for Oakland to be throwing downfield more and playing a more wide-open game. With Chris Johnson, the Titans should be able to put some points on the board. If the Raiders are more efficient, the total should be easy to get to.

Atlanta at Pittsburgh (37 ½): This total has been bet down from 40, and for good reason. The Steelers’ offense is without starting QB Ben Roethlisberger and backup Byron Leftwich. The Falcons, behind Michael Turner, will run the ball. This might be a game where points are hard to come by.

Green Bay at Philadelphia (47 ½): Style of play dictates this total. Both clubs will play a wide-open offense. The Eagles start the Kevin Kolb experiment, but do not expect Andy Reid to play conservatively. The Packers’ offense has looked solid in preseason and it appears that Aaron Rodgers is set to have a big season. It’s a big number and the trend is that when two teams with winning record face, 70 percent of the time, it should go under the total.

San Francisco at Seattle (37): New coach, new system, same old problems for the Seahawks. They have a depleted receiving corps. To bet the over, you like to have two-way scoring, and Seattle might be not be able to keep up their half of the total. Both game last season went under the total.

Arizona at St. Louis (39 ½): It’s hard to figure out what the Cardinals are going to be like this season. With Derek Anderson at quarterback, the Cardinals might not have the firepower they have had the past few seasons. The Rams are starting a rookie quarterback, and that usually spells trouble. Both games went under last season and there is not much reason to think there will be more offense this season.

Dallas at Washington (40): This is an old-fashioned rivalry game, and an important division game. These teams usually plays close to the vest. Both games last season went way under the total and it appears that will be the trend. Dallas has been offensively challenged in the preseason and the first-string has not looked good. The Redskins have looked a bit better with Donovan McNabb at quarterback. He suffered an ankle injury, but appears to be able to play.

Baltimore at New York Jets (35 ½): All the trends scream under in this game. Both teams are known for their defense and the Jets will try to shorten the game with their running attack. With Darrelle Revis back in the lineup, that should limit some of the Ravens’ passing attack.

San Diego at Kansas City (45): The over is 2-0-1 in their last three meetings. But that total was pushed because the Chargers scored 102 points in those three games. Without Vincent Jackson and LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers may be in a bit of a change on offense. If the Chiefs can mount any kind of offense, but that is a risky proposition.

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